About ACTS

Academic Coaching to Thrive & Succeed (ACTS) matches students in the UW–Madison Division of Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement (DDEEA) with academic coaches to help them achieve their educational goals. We treat students as individuals with unique strengths and challenges, and help them map out their personal pathways to academic success. Our staff and peer coaches serve as mentors and advocates for our students, helping them identify and overcome the barriers they face in their educational journeys.

Peer-to-peer tutoring is much more than a survival tool. It helps strengthen subject comprehension, boost confidence and build important learning skills. Coaches give students individualized attention that they don’t always find in the classroom. Tutoring can help students who are struggling as well as those who aren’t challenged enough.

Our services include:

  • Academic success workshops
  • Comprehension improvement
  • Concept clarification
  • End-of-semester study jams
  • Identifying problem areas
  • Learning by teaching
  • Mentoring
  • Problem solving
  • Process explanation
  • Project planning
  • Small, medium and large study group formats
  • Study tips
  • Test preparation
  • Time management tutoring
  • Topic-specific tutoring

“I would definitely not have done as well in my class without the help from my academic coach. She was super helpful, knowledgeable, and willing to do whatever necessary for me to understand the topic. She not only helped me get a good grade in my class, but also taught me new studying skills that I can carry with me for the rest of my academic career.”

Program History

What is now the Academic Coaching to Thrive & Succeed program began in 1994 as the tutoring office serving students in the UW–Madison TRIO program (now called the Center for Educational Opportunity). In spring 2014, the service was expanded to include students from the First Wave, Posse and PEOPLE programs in the DDEEA. In the following academic year, the program was again expanded to include students in the (now closed) Pathways programs, and in fall 2015 the Chancellor’s & Powers-Knapp Scholars programs were added, now renamed Mercile J. Lee Scholars. The program was subsequently given the name Academic Support Services.

In the spring of 2019, the program was renamed Academic Coaching and Tutoring Services and moved to a new home in the Middleton building. The program now provides tutoring services for students in all seven DDEEA programs.

In the summer of 2023, the program was again renamed Academic Coaching to Thrive & Succeed, to better reflect the broad array of academic coaching, support, and wellbeing resources and services we provide.